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Making Fido Famous

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email                                      

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Do you think your dog has what it takes to make it in the limelight? Starting this summer, the Richmond SPCA will be offering a class called "Making Fido Famous."

The goal is to provide pets a chance to show off their skills or tricks on a commercial level in print and television ads. I recently had the chance to meet four local dogs all of whom have already made it big. 

"We think there's a demand for this in the Richmond area and it just is such a wonderful thing for people because it encourages them to do all the things we want them to do anyway, which is make sure there dog is well-groomed and well-socialized and well-behaved," said Richmond SPCA Chief of Education and Training Sarah Babcock.
     
From basic skills. To specialized tricks. These precious pooches are stars. Check out Pilot, Gadget and Flake on the cover of Bark magazine, and print work is just the beginning for these SPCA rescues.

Gadget rolled over 40 times in a day for a bank commercial about rolling over investments, and Flake's bark starred in a Virginia lottery commercial.

Just like these dogs, your canine could be a star too. Sarah Babcock is the Chief of Education and training at the SPCA, and she says there's lot of opportunities out there.

"I think people think they have to go to Hollywood to get their dog into a big movie, but you know we've had a few that were filmed in the area, and on a much smaller level there are commercials filmed here all the time. And on a much smaller level performances and ads that are printed and I think we could have a whole collection of dogs that were available for those," said Barcock. 

That's where the idea for a class came from. Trainers will help you build on your dog's basic obedience skills to learn fun tricks like rolling over or speaking on cue. That means with positive reinforcement dogs just like Gus, another SPCA rescue, can strut their stuff. 

Gus was featured in an ad for the SPCA that aired on NBC 12 where he had to stay very still and eat french fries delicately. And he's still learning new skills everyday.

The Making Fido Famous Classes will start in June. They will cost $100 for a seven week session. $90 if you adopted your dog from the SPCA.

For more information about those classes, you can visit the Richmond SPCA's website.

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